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U.S. Senator Toomey Says He Will Continue To Push For Gun Background Check Law

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pa., speaks with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Anne Danahy

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey said Monday he hopes Congress can pass legislation to expand background checks. 

“I’m not promising or guaranteeing an outcome here, but I am promising to continue the effort. And I do think we are in a somewhat different environment where maybe we can build the momentum," Toomey said as he headed into a forum with business and civic leaders in Lewisburg.

Toomey was greeted outside the meeting by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

He said he spoke with President Trump Monday morning.

“The president is very open to doing something," Toomey said. "He didn’t commit to this, but he is very open to this conversation. I think he understands the merits of having a more thorough background check system.”

Toomey pointed to other possible legislation too. He said one bill, known as "lie and try," would require the FBI to tell state law enforcement when a convicted felon lies while trying to buy a gun. Another bill, "red flag" legislation, would let family or law enforcement ask for a court order to take firearms from someone believed to be a threat.

In 2013, Toomey sponsored legislation with Senator Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, after the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings. It would have expanded background checks to all commercial firearms sales. But it didn’t get enough votes in the Senate. 

Shari Jacobson, of Union County, was one of the people with Moms Demand Action who greeted Toomey Monday. She said she was at the group’s annual training this weekend when they heard news of the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America on Monday, Aug. 5, 2019,
Credit Anne Danahy / WPSU
Members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America on Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, following a weekend with two mass shootings. The group spoke with U.S. Senator Pat Toomey about gun legislation.

“We are devastated, and we are heartbroken, but we are determined," Jacobson said. "We are going to be working with our legislators to do the right thing and pass commonsense laws that uphold the 2nd Amendment, but also keep Americans safer.”

Anne Danahy is a reporter at WPSU. She was a reporter for nearly 12 years at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, where she earned a number of awards for her coverage of issues including the impact of natural gas development on communities.
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